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Archive for May 9, 2014

FOOD HOLIDAY: National Moscato Day

It’s National Muscat Day, celebrating a wine that hasn’t been discovered by enough Americans—especially those who enjoy a fruity wine with a touch of sweetness.

We’ve enjoyed white Moscato for years, as well as the sparkling styles like Asti Spumante and its semi-sparkling cousin, Moscato d’Asti (both made in the Piedmont region of Italy).

But we only recently received our first bottle of red Moscato, from our friends at Gallo Vineyards. It retails for about $7.99 per bottle, and we’ll be bringing bottles of both red and white Moscato to gatherings this summer.

 
THE HISTORY OF MOSCATO

Once upon a time, in a land called Muscat and Oman (a country that encompassed the present day Sultanate of Oman and parts of the United Arab Emirates), a wine was enjoyed so much that someone brought the grape seeds back to Rome for cultivation.

In turn, the Roman Legions brought Moscato to Gaul (encompassing present-day France). Today France and Italy are renowned producers of Muscat.

 

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Red moscato is made by a number of producers. Photo courtesy Gallo.

 

The are different strains of the muscat grape, including Muscat noir, black Muscat, which has a dark skin (red to dark purple) and is used to make the red variety.

Moscato is light bodied and low in alcohol—meaning that most people can have a second glass without feeling it. Gallo’s red Moscato has a perfumed nose and a palate laden with notes of citrus, honey and peach.

With its delicate sweetness and fresh acidity, this refreshing, medium-bodied wine is best enjoyed chilled, with anything from a cheese place to spice cuisine to dessert.

Here’s more on moscato, including 13 different ways to serve it.

  

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MOTHER’S DAY: Chocolate Crowns From Maggie Louise

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Chocolate for a queen. Photo courtesy
Maggie Louise Confections.

 

To show Mom that she’s your queen, treat her to these white chocolate crowns from chocolatier Maggie Louise, filled with chocolate sea salt caramel.

Called “The Sophronia,” it was inspired by Maggie’s memories of the royal pomp and circumstance of London.

The intricate crowns are made with El Rey’s famed Icoa white chocolate, then filled with hand-crafted chocolate caramel and dotted with Maldon sea salt.

A six-piece box, beautifully packaged, is $15.00. Get yours at MaggieLouiseConfections.com.

 

  

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TIP OF THE DAY: Breakfast Pizza

Still pondering what to make for Mother’s Day breakfast? Perhaps this is the year to skip the bagels and lox, pancakes, quiche and waffles and opt instead for a glamorous breakfast pizza.

Just plan ahead and make the dough one day in advance; it needs to be refrigerated overnight (it can be made up to 2 days ahead). Keep it chilled until ready to use.

This recipe, sent to us by Savor California, is by cookbook writer Jill Silverman Hough.

You can turn it into bacon-, ham- or sausage-and-eggs pizza by adding your favorite breakfast meat.

RECIPE: BREAKFAST PIZZA WITH EGGS,
ROASTED PEPPERS, OLIVES & ARUGULA

Ingredients For 4 Servings
 
For The Dough

  • 2 tablespoons warm water (115°F)
  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup cool water (65° to 70°F)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse/kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  •  

    Egg-Olive-Pizza-mishagravenorphotography-savorcalifornia

    A special breakfast for a special day. Photo by Misha Gravenor Photography.

     

    For The Topping

  • Cornmeal for sprinkling
  • Olive oil
  • ¾ cup drained roasted red peppers, cut into 1/3-inch strips
  • 1/3 cup black olives, pitted and quartered*
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese shavings
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 large red onion rings, each 3-1/2 to 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups arugula, lightly packed
  •  
    *Jill used Olivos del Mar Organic Honey Balsamic Olives that have been flashed brined overnight in a mixture of organic lemongrass rice vinegar, organic balsamic vinegar, and a mixture of Italian herbs. You can similarly brine your olives overnight.

     

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    Add some bacon or other breakfast meat to
    your pie. Photo courtesy iGourmet.com.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the dough. Pour 2 tablespoons warm water into large bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook; sprinkle yeast over. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 15 minutes (mixture will not be foamy).

    2. ADD both flours, 1/2 cup cool water and 1 teaspoon coarse salt; mix on medium-low speed 4 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, then mix on medium speed until dough is smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky, about 3 minutes.

    3. LIGHTLY OIL a medium bowl. Gather dough into ball and transfer to prepared bowl; turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature 30 minutes. Chill dough overnight. When ready to bake…

    4. TRANSFER bowl to warm, draft-free area and let dough rise, covered, until very slightly puffy, at least 2 hours. Place a pizza stone or rimless baking sheet in oven; preheat to 500°F.

     

    5. SPRINKLE pizza paddle or another baking sheet generously with cornmeal. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round; transfer to paddle.

    6. BRUSH dough with oil; scatter peppers, then olives, over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and rosemary. Arrange onion rings atop pizza, spacing apart. Slide pizza onto stone or baking sheet in oven. Bake until lightly browned but not crisp, about 7 minutes.

    7. REMOVE pizza from oven and gently crack 1 egg into each onion ring. Return pizza to oven and continue to bake until eggs are softly set and crust is golden, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle pizza with salt and pepper. Scatter arugula over top and serve.

      

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